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Thursday, June 15, 2023

Visiting the Bronx Zoo - New York City

When you hear "The Bronx" of New York, you probably aren't thinking world class zoo". This big New York City borough is densely populated and typically doesn't make the cut compared the the famously popular Brooklyn and Manhattan boroughs. The Bronx is home to some famous attractions including Yankee Stadium, the Botanical Gardens, and the Bronx Zoo. 

After visiting our small but cute zoo here in Connecticut and Central Park Zoo, we wanted to take the kids to a bigger zoo that had some of those nostalgic animals like elephants, gorillas, and giraffes. We planned to go on a Monday before kids were out for the summer and the weekend crowds took over. We were leaving from the Connecticut shoreline and planned to leave around 8:30 with hopes of dodging some of the commuter traffic on the highway. We pre-purchased our tickets (more on that below) and headed to New York with our stroller, lunch, a million snacks and sunscreen in tow.

You can't appreciate just how big this zoo is until you arrive in the park. You also have to remember it's within a densely populated city which makes its size even more impressive.  When considering its size in terms of area, it's one of the largest zoos in the country and is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States, totaling 265 acres.

The zoo opened in 1899 and has been in the headlines since with their award winning exhibits. From its inception the zoo has played a vital role in animal conservation. In 1905, the American Bison Society was created in an attempt to save the American bison from extinction when the wild numbers went from tens-of-millions of animals to only a few hundred. This program was so successful that a mere two years later they were successfully reintroduced into the wild.